1911Forum (https://forums.1911forum.com/index.php)
-   Disaster Preparedness (https://forums.1911forum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=95)
-   -   Finally got my HAM license (https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=1002154)

Amos Iron Wolf 10-18-2019 01:01 PM

Finally got my HAM license
Okay, I've been on sabbatical from forums. I admit it. That said, after thinking about and threatening to do so for nearly 40 years I finally took the Technician test last night. I missed one question. Now just waiting for my call sign and to show up in the FCC database.

I'm planning on going for my General next month at the next club meeting. Oh yeah, I joined the local club. Not a lot of folks and we all have grey hair. LOL.

I got my GMRS license 22 AUG 2017. Unfortunately just before they changed the time period from 5 to 10 years before renewal. Since my wife doesn't have any interest in getting her amateur license I'll keep the GMRS since my license covers the family and we can talk off that with up to 50 Watts and I already have two Part 95 certified HTs with 5 watts and external antenna capable.

Now to mount antennas (after local architectural/planning committee blessings) and use the stuff I already have and lust for new gear.

wyowolf 10-18-2019 05:54 PM


MichaelE 10-18-2019 06:34 PM

Congrats to you. I got mine about 18 months ago.

Grandpas50AE 10-18-2019 06:54 PM

AIW - good to see you post here again, and congrats on your HAM license! A lot of folks really don't realize the vital role that HAM's play in disaster and emergency situations, and it is no surprise that your local club is "mostly gray haired"; I suspect most of them are.

scubadad 10-18-2019 08:49 PM

Back in the day my dad mounted a yagi on our new house. Neighbors complained. Luckily the township considered anything within 20 feet of the roof to be a tv antenna. Not as high up as he would have liked but life is compromise.

Lots of good memories with my dad and ham radio. Enjoy your new hobby. If you ever come to the Ohio ham fest let me know. I'm not far and I have a backyard range.

cruise 10-18-2019 10:34 PM

Crooked River, Oregon

Sistema1927 10-18-2019 11:08 PM

Congrats and 73.

Amos Iron Wolf 10-18-2019 11:15 PM

Appreciate it all.

Fellow on YouTube has a three part series on Emergency Communications. Pretty good info.

Part 1, Initial Event

Part 2, After the Disaster

Part 3, Portable HF for prolonged situations.

He makes some good points on the immediate and getting everyone together, the intermediate, and longer term. Strictly from a comms standpoint. It won't fit every doomsday is the only way point of view, but it isn't meant to.

Sistema1927 10-19-2019 04:15 PM

For HF, do yourself a favor and become well versed in "NVIS". Once you get your General, and if you want to be involved in emergency comm, NVIS is much more useful than regular skywave propagation in many situations.

Amos Iron Wolf 10-19-2019 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by Sistema1927 (Post 12967268)
For HF, do yourself a favor and become well versed in "NVIS". Once you get your General, and if you want to be involved in emergency comm, NVIS is much more useful than regular skywave propagation in many situations.

Appreciate the info. Might take a bit before I'm actually doing HF, but it's definitely a direction I want to go in. Emergency comms is one area that I'm really interested in. I joined the local club the night I tested. They talked a little about how emergency readiness activity and coordination here has kind of fallen away and there was some interest in getting back into it more from the HAM side. I am up for that.

Thanks again for the NVIS suggestion. Will research it more.

Grandpas50AE 10-19-2019 07:49 PM

AIW, my oldest brother lived with my aunt and uncle in Oklahoma City back in the 60's, and spent many hours with my uncle on HAM radio. My uncle's call sign was W5VCJ, and after he passed away, his call sign was transferred to my brother, who is now disabled and no longer on HAM - sad, because I remember many hours visiting my uncle and talking to folks all over the world, very enjoyable for a kid in the late 50's and early 60's that was 7 - 10 years old. Carry on, and enjoy.

earlwb 10-20-2019 07:36 AM

Congratulations. Way to go.

AWMP 10-20-2019 12:50 PM

Awesome, great to have another HAM operator, had mine for over 25 years, congrats again, 73s!

PBag 10-20-2019 01:38 PM

Hi Amos. Congratulations and good to hear from you.

rayban 10-20-2019 04:29 PM

Sounds like you've done your research, knowing the gear you want and what to do with it.
I didn't have a clue about gear, I just knew I wanted to get back into CW again, which is about all I do. 73..K8PRG

no_glockie 11-09-2019 05:38 PM

Glad you're back Amos!
I need to look into HAM.

Amos Iron Wolf 11-09-2019 08:54 PM

Appreciate it.

50AE, I like that the FCC will let people put in for legacy call signs. A way of keeping some tradition and memory of someone who mattered to you.

NG, go for your Technician. As many here have said to many of us in the past, it's pretty doable. I used Hamstudy.org and basically just learn the test. I'm usually not a fan of that kind of thing, but in this case get the ticket and consider it a license to learn. I've been in and out learning about and interested in various electronic/commo things for decades but never really settled down on it other than CB back in the days when you actually got a license and a call sign. I was toward the end on that.

I had already acquired a few Baofeng UV-5Rs and had programmed them with CHIRP originally for listening then reprogrammed for HAM now. They're extras and backup now. I picked up a TYT UV8000E handheld. Still a Chinese handheld, dual band radio, but 10 Watts with crossband repeat capability. With the whip it's pretty impressive for an $80 radio. Good reach, good reports on receive by others off our repeater. I've been asked if I was using a mobile or a base station. So you can get talking on something a little better than the basic Baofeng and still cost less than a box of .338 Lapua ammo.

Anyone out here running on Echolink? With things quiet most of the time on our local repeater I've taken to venturing out on it via the iPad. Sat in a couple of nets held each night by some fellows (on actual radios) from the Black Valley River Club up in Booneville, NY, and chatted with a couple of fellows that are the key guys on the White Mountain Range in AZ.

One thing I am wanting to mess with is data over the radios. RTTY, SSTV, satellite/ISS downloads, and similar that can be done with just a few simple radios (simplex) and apps on Android and iPad(iPhone) (no internet or cell service needed once you have the apps downloaded). Seems like a handy skill and capability to have for sending messages and images when net/cell is down or out in radio only territory.

jjfitch 11-10-2019 07:45 AM

I'm sure with all things technical and communications related things have changed a lot since I went "quiet" 15 years ago.

I too was introduced to "HAM" radio as a youngster in 1958 at the "MARS" station at Ft. Meade, Maryland. Talking to people in Australia was really amazing to a 12 year old!

Got my Tech about 25 years ago, KE6RIF. Living at 6,200 feet elevation in SoCal gave me a real advantage on just a J-pole for general signal hunting and family communications. Wife was KE6 also. My neighbor had a repeater for county emergency comm's. and general use. The elevation allowed a 200+ mile radius!

I found a repeater in San Diego that was linked via the internet that connected to a network throughout Europe. Really weird sitting at home talking to guys half a world away on an HT!

There was also a network that went up the central valley of CA. linking repeaters expanding almost limitless access all the way up to OR.

Some day I might get back into it for general and emergency communications but for now the internet provides all the comm. I can handle! :)

73's from the Beautiful Pacific Northwest

hardluk1 11-10-2019 09:55 AM

A buddy I use to drag race with back in south florida in the '70's . He was also heavily into HAM at the time and had several radios set up and other black boxes and had a tower out back that had a main section that was hinged and had a few other sections that elevated and I remember him saying could reach to 60 feet on the tower plus a the antenna with a large flat directional antenna , may 12 to 20 feet on the tips across . He got into this enough that he ended up servicing towers for swfl area radio stations for some years then got in to charter boat fishing and had a heart attack maybe 6 years ago and passed away . Good guy . For some of the old timers see if anyone remembers a Jeff Player - Naples Fl

Mike in NC 11-29-2019 03:47 PM

Congratulations! Never ending fun to be had! I've been licensed over 25 plus years, been involved in ECOM and Skywarn off and on all that time, pretty quiet now, use it more for local comms back and forth to work (80 mile trek).


TNIC 12-01-2019 01:02 PM

A belated Congrats!

I took the Tech and General together in 2015 and passed AE in Aug this year. Hamstudy.org and the great crew at (youtube) W4EEY helped me pass Extra first time thru.

I adopted the last 3 letters in my to memorialize the good friend that encouraged me to test for Tech & Gen same day. Sadly he went SK about a month before I passed the exams, unbeknownst to me until early this year.

Had a blast working Europe with my 100 watt mobile (while rolling) and playing at POTA in a nearby park. QTH is Maine, btw and I even worked a Cali station while mobile.

Find an aspect of the hobby that appeals to you and have fun, but get on the air. And remember, the bands are dead until someone presses that PTT thingie. :D


Amos Iron Wolf 12-03-2019 04:38 PM

Not a lot on the repeater here, but the club is somewhat active. I have a power supply coming so I can try out and get running a Yaesu FT707 that was given to me. I'll use it for a receiver for now to learn more about HF. There are a few guys here who are starting to mess a little more with 10 meter and keeping it on the high part of the band so Techs can get in on the action.

I get most of my conversations from a nightly net out of Booneville, NY held by the Black River Valley club. I access via Echolink on my iPad. I usually just check in, say what I've been up to and then just listen to everyone else.

Blaster3094 12-03-2019 05:43 PM

Got my ticket somewhere around 1980. Was in school and a friend pulled a HT out from under the seat of his car and made a phone call via auto-patch on his club repeater. This was before even bag phones and I thought what I witnessed was the coolest thing I had seen in a long time. I asked how do I get one of those and got told, "you can't, you need to get a license which requires a test and learning Morse Code".

About 2 weeks later I was in the FCC building in lower Manhattan sitting for the test. I passed and got my Technicians License. I remember waiting what felt like a terribly long amount of time for the license to come in the mail. After passing the test I immediately purchased an ICOM HT and had no way to get on the air without a call sign.

I lost interest over time and the license lapsed. Then I got interested again and came back as an Extra this time going to a club and sitting for the test through the Volunteer Examiner program.

Haven't been on the air for many years as I lost interest again but I won't let it lapse again. I have the renewal date built into my calendar to remind me. September 2020.

ChuckC 12-25-2019 07:35 PM

I'm glad to see that you are having a good time with Amateur Radio. There are so many different directions that you can go with it. Try to concentrate on a few different types and then go from there. I have a friend who is into too much and is going crazy. Getting your General is a huge step up, it opens the world of HF to you. I got my Tech and General on my first sitting and got AE a month later after heavy study of the ARRL books + testing on eHam and QRZ.

A couple of weeks ago, our club helped out at the local National Weather Service for the Skywarn recognition day. We do that every year and set up stations and antennas to help alongside the Weather Service's amateur radios. Every year we camp out for 3-4 days at a local lighthouse and activate it for International Lighthouse weekend. Different radio clubs activate lighthouses all over the world and try to contact each other. I did manage to contact a lightship. Last year we activated the Theodore Rosevelt inauguration site in Buffalo, NY for "National Parks on the Air" and made contacts all over.

I've been fooling with radios for a while now and there is always something new going on. Our club has some Yeasu System Fusion repeaters and lately, a bunch of us have purchased WiRES-X digital radios. I am in Florida for the winter and contact the guys back home on my new Yaesu FT3D which is quite a radio compared to my older FT8R. With that radio (8R), the guys as the club watched me travel out to Uath and back on my motorcycle via APRS and the aprs.fi website map in Finland.

Anyway, feel free to log into our club's Monday night radio test on Echolink. Every Monday night at 8PM EST which would make it 6 or 7 your time. The station is W2SO-R Node 754795 I usually use the Echolink app on my iPhone as the main repeater that we use isn't set up for digital Wires-X, that on the UHF repeater. I'm Chuck W2EM


Amos Iron Wolf 12-26-2019 08:31 PM


Originally Posted by ChuckC (Post 13019584)
Anyway, feel free to log into our club's Monday night radio test on Echolink. Every Monday night at 8PM EST which would make it 6 or 7 your time. The station is W2SO-R Node 754795 I usually use the Echolink app on my iPhone as the main repeater that we use isn't set up for digital Wires-X, that on the UHF repeater. I'm Chuck W2EM

Thanks, Chuck. I was checking into the nightly Black River Valley club nets at 9 EST/8 CST via EchoLink. Got away from it a little. Had an update on the iPad I was using for it and lost my favorites list. I've even managed to miss the last three Sunday night nets for my own club. I forget what time it is or even day sometimes and then go, "OH MAN! I missed it!"

If I can actually set an alarm and remember it I'll try to pop in with y'all.

So quiet here so often I kinda get a little discouraged. But, I'll keep on keeping on If I can get a few friends who have their licenses that live in the next town over, about 35 miles, to get active again they'll ragchew.

While the wife isn't interested in getting her ticket (yet), she does like chatting with me on the little GMRS handhelds when we go shopping or out a little. She's even shown an interest when I explain certain things to her. She's even open to the idea of me putting 25 or 50 watt GMRS (I'm licensed for GMRS too) in her car as long as it can reach me when she's coming home from work. I explained that would mean a base antenna and a real antenna on her car. Something we can work on later. ;) Maybe by then she will decide that it would be better, and cheaper in terms of radios, if she had her Tech and we could put in 2 meter radios for the vehicles. Entice her a little more and build up better comms for emergencies.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved